What is the difference between Buddhist and Christian meditation, and have you experienced both?
Buddhist are about finding ones self
and christians pray to god
I have been to many Christian churches...never did I see meditation. I DID see people rolling around on the floor talking a load of gobbledegook once, but it didn't look very meditative.
Christianity demands that you focus completely on Jebus. Buddhist meditation, in its purest form, asks you to look inside yourself.
Buddhists sit with their legs crossed. But God CLEARLY commanded to sit with your legs spread.
Yes I have experienced both.
Christian meditation is basically a prayer meeting where people gather , sing praises and then pray in order to seek solution to problems of their life , a speaker reads from bible upon a topic , again a parting prayer and people go back home happy and contended. The purpose is to love God as a father and ask for solutions. It is a devotional kind of thing.
A Buddhist meditation is entirely different. Here a person is supposed to remain quite and calm first, sitting down and with closed eyes. He/she then focuses attention on breathing and watches the oncoming & outgoing breaths just like watching the waves of the sea while siiting on a beach. During this time the person tries to stop any thoughts which might arise . After doing this meditation for a few days he/she focuses his/her attention on various parts of his/her body similar to a CT scan / MRI scan . He/she tries to learn what is happeining , what sensation in each part of his/her body. This is done for many days (keeping the the mind still w/o thoughts) .
Slowly various parts of body become aware to the person from inside and he uses them as an alarm for rising up of any emotion / feeling. As soon as an emotion / feeling rises it has to have an associated sensation in some organ(s) of body. So the person will calm that emotion by remain aware watching it inside his/her organ similar to watching a cobra who has woken up & raised its hood. By non-reacting & watching the sensation of the emotion for a period of time , it dies down because the mind has not fed it by thinking any associated thought about it.
Slowly the negative emotions become lesser & lesser and a person changes his behavior to better and then, Buddha says , he/she enters the supernatural, the eternal world where happiness is awaiting.
Meditation, in the Buddhist sense, is a practice that is performed regularly . As one post noted, it is generally with a focus on self rather than externals. It is about clearing the mind, but can involve the recitation of a prayer. It can be done while sitting, in silence, with chanting, while walking or, as one of my favorite teachers has written, while washing dishes. It can involve externals, such as a mala and candles.
In my experience Christian meditation is very similar. It often involves reflection on the life of Christ or the Holy Mother or a Saint, and one might sit or kneel. Both Christian and Buddhist traditions have a rosary to pray.
From my perspective, I believe the fundamental difference is a focus on Jesus in the Christian meditation. I think in either tradition the important aspect is to develop a regular meditation habit and to allow the mind to quietly focus.
Hope this is helpful.
Peace and blessing,
Most every religion out there has a contemplative prayer practice where one achieves a so-called "calm abiding" whereby the mind is focused without distraction and absorbed on a given mental object of apprehension. This is not an analytical quiescence. The discursive mind is stilled and so a meditative state is achieved. Christianity has this. Islam has this. Hindus practice this. Judaism and Buddhism all have this meditative experience with these features. The only difference is that the Buddhist practitioner seeks to couple this meditative absorption with the direct experience of special insight into the final nature of reality, or emptiness. No other religion posits or asserts emptiness and so this is the dividing line between Buddhism and all other religions.